Bill Maher offends and excites at Shea’s

Political personality provides an evening of controversial comedy


Comedians such as Tom Segura or Anthony Jeselnik are characterized as extremely dry comics. Bill Maher is often saddled with this description, but is in a category all his own.

The political personality and stand-up comedian provided theatergoers with an evening of controversial comedy at Shea’s on Sunday night. Maher discussed everything from sex to politics, showing that no topic was too off-color.

He thrives on extracting laughter from the darker side of humor, often making light of the laughter he incites being involuntary and often unsettling. Some moments saw the crowd becoming increasingly quiet in light of topics such as Islam and Islamophobia, while in other instances the theater erupted with applause when Maher offered his recurring description of President Trump as a “whiny, little b*tch.”

The theater erupted with applause and cheers from the capacity crowd as Maher took the stage to roaring music taken from his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Maher wasted little time diving into the recurring theme of his set; common yet impressively varied anecdotes regarding President Donald Trump.

And Maher is never one to hold back.

His set began with a discussion of the happenings in the presidential administration, as well as providing his own take on the unorthodox administration in Washington D.C. compared to the past.

“Nixon was vile but not ignorant,” Maher said. “Where Reagan was ignorant but not vile. This is something different.”

Different, indeed, is how those in attendance would describe Bill Maher’s comedic tendencies.

“I think this just exemplifies Bill Maher at his best. To me, his stand up is even better than the HBO show,” Gene Stery said.
Others like Darnell Drayton, a local theatregoer and Maher fan, acknowledge the comedians off the cuff style compared to other prominent comedic and political figures.

“I’m a fan of anyone who goes against the establishment,” Drayton said. “I consider myself a progressive, and was a supporter of the Bernie Sanders campaign for the same reasons.”

The evening was full of laughter that the audience was more than willing to provide.

Maher moved from discussing the president to discussing Christianity, with a segue that bridged the gap towards Islam, feminism and transgender people.

More often than not, Maher found himself circling back toward Trump, conceding the topic too attractive to shy away from.

He spent ample time discussing millennials as well as the adolescent view of the current administration.

Maher expressed concern that young men and women will view the banter and news coming out of the 2017 White House as normal. As politics ran rampant throughout the evening’s discourse, Maher was quick to mix in other topics to lighten the mood, such as his own dealings with aging and reflecting on his youth.

The evening concluded with resounding applause for the infamous stand-up and political personality.

Brian Evans is a staff writer and can be reached at


Brian Evans is a senior English major and The Spectrum's senior arts editor.